My first week of DTS, now nearly five months ago, God asked me to stay and staff YWAM in Toowoomba. I remember clearly, (way back in the day when I used to wake up early in the morning) I was slacklining in the open field on the back of our base’s property. It was foggy but I could see oranges and yellows begin to climb the sky as the sun came up. I was praying out loud and talking to Jesus about how I’d promised people I’d be home in five months. He gently said, “Don’t make promises you don’t know you can keep.” And that was the first time it had even crossed my mind that I wouldn’t go home and resume life as normal after graduation. In all honesty, that sentence scared me at first. I continued to pray about it the next few days and the more I did, the clearer it became he was asking me to stay and staff and the easier it became to say yes. I prayed for another week and then told my one-on-one, Cristi. She prayed with and encouraged me. Throughout the DTS I asked for prayer from the base directors, as I’d be joining their community and home, from the school leaders, asking for wisdom, and a couple of close friends who encouraged me greatly.
I knew that I fall in love with people and places quickly and I didn’t want this decision to be based on infatuation for the base and their mission. I wanted to make sure I knew I was hearing God, and that I understood the weight of moving across the world unexpectedly. It was becoming more and more evident every day that this was an answer to prayer.
Answers to Prayer
The decision to stay has turned out to hold many answers to prayer. Its been amazing to watch how when you say yes to God, he proves himself good over and over. All of the ideas and courses I had planned were based on passions given to me by Him. When I surrendered those passions, He took them and gave me something so much better than I ever could have imagined.
I’d had plans to go to school for naturopathy and counseling and to later build a transitional home for girls who’ve been trafficked and are recovering. All of these things are a passion of mine; trauma and physical healing, restoring identity, mentorship, and anti-trafficking are showing up in some way by staffing here.
Toowoomba is a small town with a community that enthusiastically supports arts, local mission, and community. I was impressed with the way that they see a problem and rise to fix it. Its a genuinely family oriented community and they care about making it a safe place for everyone and encouraging creativity. This area of Queensland however is a hub for prostitution and trafficking. There are lots of ministries here who are taking huge steps against it, namely Rahab. I’ve gotten quite a few words about working with Rahab. Here is a link for their website. The churches in Toowoomba all partner and there’s a sense of unity in the body of Christ across the whole city.
The base itself is also an answer to prayer in so many ways. I love living in community. It’s natural I think, just for the fact that I’ve grown up in a large, hospitable family. But also for this specific community. They’re so reverent of God, so creative in all they do, so in love with His purpose for them and this place, so kind and open. The people who are called here are visionaries and passionate movers and shakers for the Kingdom.
Also this base is on a hill overlooking Toowoomba. It’s a gorgeous view of the rolling green with city scattered in the valley between. Sunrises and sunsets are fantastically bright and vibrant. We have space to build more in the future to allow for more hospitality and events. The land is respected and taken care of. We have a beautiful prayer room, spacious lecture/community room, full kitchen, and nice dorm style rooms for students and guests.
I got multiple words about stepping further into my calling while on outreach. I expected this to have to do with human trafficking. It did confirm that. I grew in passion for those who are broken and effected by the industry greatly. But God also confirmed and brought up a passion in me for discipleship and mentorship. He showed me that by the gifts and testimonies he’s given me and the opportunity of DTS and this YWAM base, it just makes sense. I love to empower and encourage people and show them who they are in Christ and help them discover who He is to them.
The Staff Internship
The internship here in Toowoomba is an 18 month commitment. There are three phases; ministry, logistical, ministry. This means that the first one could be staffing a Discipleship Training School, Rural and Coastal, or Freedom Project. These are all different ministries that YWAM Toowoomba produces. Then you have a break from serving as a leader in a ministry capacity to do work practical work and process what God has done in the last season. Then in the last section, you do a different ministry than you did the first phase. Throughout all of it, there are weekly lectures, community meetings and worship, and base clean duties as well.
My budget is $500 a month which includes internship fees, food, accommodation, and necessities (toiletries, phone bill, Uber). I’ll be fundraising in a few different ways. I’ll do commissions when I can, write for blogs who pay, and I’m thinking about designing t-shirts. There will be more information on all that next week.
I’m looking to find monthly supporters. If I can find 20 people to contribute $25 per month, that covers all I need. I’ll be sending out a monthly newsletter and blogging/posting about my time here. I admit I’m finding it difficult to ask for support in this way. Being a missionary is sometimes challenging in unexpected ways. But through this I’m learning to lean on God and trust Him to provide through community.
I’m very excited. As I explained, this is an answer to prayer in many unforeseen ways. I certainly feel very blessed to be a part of this ministry. Radical things are happening and it’s a beautiful example of Jesus. God is good and he’s proving that over and over.
It’s also bittersweet. I’ll miss family and friends. I have a wonderful community at home and I also feel very blessed to have them in my life. I never want anyone to think I’m “up and leaving” without a second thought. I’m in love with Jesus and excited to respond and obey him. But part of me is still home. I’m in love with Texas and my people there too. God knows that and will honor that fact. There will be lots of communication, calls, and updates.
Also, we’re done with outreach! Back from Thailand and in Toowoomba again. I’ll be writing a post about outreach as a whole this week. But I wanted to tell y’all what’s up with me staying sooner than later.
If there’s any questions, concerns, comments, anything you’d like to know at all, please hit me up! You can message me through Facebook, Instagram, or comment. If you want, I’ll send you my phone number through DM. Or you could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whatever floats your boat. I’d love to hear from you!